Hands-On Home-Learning

K-9 Distributed Learning

Hands-On Home-Learning for a Sustainable World is Oak and Orca's distributed learning program. Students enrolled in the program receive teacher support, unique learning materials, and gentle assessments of their learning. Families receive the benefit of a supportive program and guidance towards creating child-led learning within the BC curriculum framework.


We provide multi-disciplinary learning activities, a bioregional focus with global perspectives, a hands-on, child-centred approach, and teacher support. The program is available for K-12 students who are resident in BC.

The high-school program allows for a creative and multi-disciplinary approach to high school allowing students the flexibility to learn what they are most interested in for course credit.

We offer blended programs in Victoria, including part-time attendance (one or two days) at the Oak and Orca Bioregional School and a new two day a week Forest School located in Mount Douglas Park, at the foot of Pkols.

Learning Activities

BC Curriculum-based, thematic learning activities provided

Our learning materials are unique in that they incorporate bioregional and global education into a framework of hands-on activities and provide options and choices for children to learn the BC curriculum in their own way and at their own pace. Interesting, explorative learning activities based on Oak and Orca School's eleven guiding principles encourage students to be confident, motivated learners with an interest in sustainable, fulfilling communities and an understanding of global issues, social justice and compassionate communication. Global learning activities have been developed in partnership with VIDEA.

Skills Support

Ungraded approach supports stress-free learning

Children gain skills and knowledge in curriculum areas through studies based on their own unique interests. Our learning materials are designed to make learning interesting and enjoyable as well as flexible and child-directed. We provide an ungraded approach that allows each child his/her uniqueness and supports the gradual development of skills when readiness is achieved. This approach ensures that learning is taking place, but is not stressfull or worrisome for the child. It allows children to maintain the love of learning they all have when they naturally learn skills like walking, speaking, and helping as a young child.

Teacher Support

Teachers provide just enough support and reassurance

Through regular teleconferencing, students are encouraged by their certified teachers to reach goals and objectives they themselves have defined. Enjoyment of reading, writing, mathematics, science, art, drama, music, social studies and natural history are actively encouraged. Beginning in the early years, and continuing through the elementary grades, children are supported to make effective choices about their own learning. We provide the materials and outside support, while families provide the love, encouragement and flexibility enjoyed by all home-learners.

Blended Programs

Two blended programs are available in Victoria

Blended programs offer options for home learners to attend programming part time. We have two blended options in Victoria. These options are available by application when space exists.
1. Home-learners can apply to attend Oak and Orca School one or two days each week.
2. The Bioregional Forest School meets twice a week at Mount Douglas Park, Pkols.

Special Education Program

Extra support provided for designated students

If your child has a designation, there may be support funds available for special education supports at home and in the community. Often this funding helps pay for specialized services and supports. Services are selected based on family requests and needs identified in professional reports. All planning is done with family input, supporting parents, caregivers and students (when appropriate) in setting the goals, objectives and strategies for the Individual Education Plan. Families are also empowered in the process of selecting the team who will work together to support the child.

Child-Led Learning at Home

Home-learners have the unique oportunity to be almost fully child-directed in their learning. With carefully produced and selected materials, plenty of choice and encouraging guidance from adults, even the youngest children can be self-directed and learn the practical skills we expect from a school or homeschool program. With Hands-On Home-Learning, families are provided with unique learning materials that encourage children to make choices towards their own learning goals. Through teleconferences with a certified teacher trained to teach the Oak and Orca way, families will learn what to say to their children to encourage them to set their own learning goals, and choose learning activities from those chosen by the family.

Not a package, a program with a child-centred philosophy

Hands-On Home-Learning for a Sustainable World is a certified home-learning program including teaching materials for child-directed learning and a connection with a certified teacher trained at Oak and Orca School to support children in their natural learning process. We provide the materials and support, you provide the love and encouragement, trips to the library, and outings to learn about your local home-place.

Each child's natural learning approach can be fully respected

We believe that a child, whether in school or out, should never be discouraged from learning in a natural way. Home education can be structured so as to encourage learning when it occurs naturally, to allow for choices at other times, and to teach the skills of self-directed learning. These skills include self-motivation, goal-setting, time management, research, critical thinking, interviewing, discussion, and self-assessment. The most important skills children need to learn are those which will allow them to enjoy learning for the rest of their lives.

In summary, child-directed learning at home involves:

  • quality learning materials that encourage choice and self-direction
  • providing the opportunity for children to be naturally self-directed
  • creating opportunities for choice as well as routine
  • encouraging 'copying', risk-taking, mistakes and thoughtful 'guessing'
  • teacher support to set goals and determine appropriate learning choices
  • encouraging children to ask questions, and helping them find answers
  • providing regular opportunities to visit local libraries and museums
  • arranging outings to places of natural and cultural interest
  • providing time for children to try new things out without judgement
  • bringing to the forfront skills that people use to learn and be motivated
  • allowing children to be actively involved in important decisions at home

Join us to receive: